Singing Under Quarantine

With school being closed, students are forced to work with what they have.


Rita Schien

Senior Rita Schien sings as she takes part in a virtual choir. Groups like @choirthings on Instagram have provided an outlet for students who have found their in-school choirs essentially shut down.

Extracurricular activities often provide a safe place for many students that supply students with an inclusive environment and a family they can turn to. With the coronavirus outbreak and the sudden closings of schools, it’s hard for students to interact with one another, especially activity groups. But, there isn’t much you can do to stop a passionate student, specifically when they have internet access. 

Sophomore Dakota Dunman is one of those students. With an extreme passion for choir, Dunman, along with other students, has joined an online choir inspired by Instagram user @choirthings. 

“There are 26 members including myself, because the creator wanted it to be a chamber-sized virtual choir,” Dunman said. “There are seven altos, seven sopranos, six basses, and six tenors.” 

Senior Rita Schien, president of the choir program at FHC, is all for a virtual choir. 

“I like the virtual choir idea because it’s a great way to not only kill time, but during this time we’re constantly trying to send messages to people telling them that we’ll get through this together,” Schien said. “And what better way to do that than to create a virtual choir and share it with the world?” 

Another choir enthusiast being affected by the pandemic is Elisabeth Baird, choir director at FHC for eight years now. 

I think, while I am still communicating with my students through online assignments on Google Classroom and Zoom/Google meetings, it is so far from what I normally do it is unrecognizable,” Mrs. Baird said. “Online choir is not a thing. My identity is greatly impacted by who I am as a teacher and who I am as a choir teacher. Not only is it more complicated, my choirs are not able to continue their curriculum at all. I have had to come up with entirely new activities that can be done online.”

Auditions for the choir inspired by @choirthings on Instagram were held in February and early March for high school students interested in participating. 

“The group is important for a number of reasons,” Dunman said. “At first, it was a fun idea, then the group chat was all in to audition, which really bonded the choir family and I met and made new online friends.” 

Being a senior, Schien is finding it particularly hard to deal with the fact that she won’t have a final concert as a senior. 

“As of right now,” Schien said. “The program is trying to work on ways to get everyone back together over the summer to celebrate the seniors and to just reconnect, like having an alumni night and a choir picnic.”

Baird also explained what teaching choir at home is like for students. 

“Some of the students are worried a bit about the virtual choir because of their families being able to hear them and the vulnerability needed for an assignment like that,” Baird said. “I am working on making some concessions for students in less-than-supportive households.”

While quarantine is affecting everyone differently, group activities being postponed and cancelled, students are doing what they can to keep their spirits up and continue making progress, regardless of the circumstances. 

With that being said, the FHC choir is working on a virtual singing video that will be released May 12th.